Posted in blog, blog tour, guest post

Guest Post By Anna Mocikat: Are Book Trailers Useful or a Waste of Money?

Trailers have been around forever in the movie and TV industry. The big studios spend a lot of money on their creation, and even indie films have to come with trailers if they want to succeed in their niche markets. Video game studios also put a lot of effort into the production of trailers, which often show scenes exclusively shot for them.

With the rise of YouTube and social media, trailers have become even more important for the entertainment industry than they used to be in earlier decades.

So, why are book trailers still such a rare phenomenon? And why are many of them so poorly made?

Many indie authors consider the (often costly) option of a trailer for a marketing tool as a waste of money––which is understandable. A good custom-made trailer can cost $300-$500, but of course, there’s no limit on how much can be spent on them. Big publishers often hire marketing companies specialized in TV commercials and easily pay between 10k-50k to advertise the latest books of their bestselling authors.

Others argue that a trailer makes no sense for a book, because, after all, you’re supposed to want to read the book, not watch it like a movie.

I have to admit that ten years ago when book trailers were still a new phenomenon, I thought the same and was therefore surprised when my publisher asked me to have a trailer produced for my book.

However, I completely changed my mind on making trailers since then because of the success of mine.

I have come to believe that book trailers are a valid marketing tool for various reasons.

First of all, our daily life has become much more visual-oriented than ever before. More people are watching YouTube videos nowadays than reading books (sadly). To convince such an audience to give a book a chance, it’s a good move to offer them visual impulses they understand. This is only possible with a trailer. Marketing experts know that moving images are way more powerful than single images, which is why we see short clips as ads for all kinds of products in our feeds on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Secondly, if big publishers are willing to spend thousands of dollars on a single trailer for a single book, then it must be worth it. Big publishers never spend money on anything for no reason. They have stone-cold marketing experts who constantly evaluate which strategy is useful and which isn’t. So if it works for the big publishers, then it can also work for Indie and small press authors.

All that being said, I would strongly advise keeping away from making a trailer yourself if your only experience with videography is shooting little videos with your phone and posting them on Facebook.

It’s the same as with book covers. Every book marketing guru will advise you to hire a skilled cover designer instead of trying to photoshop something by yourself. Don’t. Just don’t.

It’s similar with trailers. A bad trailer is counterproductive. It quickly can turn out boring or look amateurish, which will likely scare potential readers off instead of convincing them to buy your book.

The same can be said about so-called “generic” trailers. If you do some research, you will quickly find people willing to make you a trailer for $50-$100. As so often in life, you will experience a simple truth: you get what you pay for. Your trailer will turn out dull, soulless, and/or feature footage and images everyone has seen a hundred times.

If you decide to have a trailer for your book, find someone who will put effort and creativity into it, and who is willing to create something unique for you––as unique as your book, and transporting its essence visually.

There are two kinds of trailers I would recommend:

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Posted in blog tour, Book Tour, books, ebook, Indie Author

Blog Tour Post: For The Lost Time By Heather Blair

When Diego Delgado closed his eyes it was 2020. When he awoke, he was one-hundred years in the past. Thrust into the dawn of the Jazz Age with no money and nowhere to go, Diego encounters a veritable bouquet of acquaintances including a kind-hearted factory owner, a free-spirited flapper, a worldly-wise mystic, and a strong-willed heir named Thomas Greely. Diego, desperate to return to the future and reunite with his young daughter, must blend in with the roaring twenties lifestyle while searching for answers. But distractions are all around him, especially Thomas who is both beautiful and charismatic, and Diego must grapple with the reality that even if he succeeds in returning home, half of his heart will stay behind.

Genre Categories: Chick Lit, Contemporary, Historical Fiction, LGBTQIA, New Adult, Romance

For The Lost Time can be purchased at Amazon for Kindle.

Heather Blair is the author of new adult romance novels including “Lucid Dreaming” and “Wide Awake.” She was born and raised in Vermont and has spent much of her adult life in New York and Los Angeles. She currently resides in Connecticut with her two cats. You can find more out about her at her website, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Goodreads.

Here’s an exert from the book…

The restaurant Diego soon found himself in was far classier than the art deco diner where he usually ate lunch. After almost a month in 1920, he’d finally begun to understand what prices constituted as “high” and he knew that the eighty-five cent lunch specials at Caroline’s would have been too pricey for his blood. Incensed, he slapped the menu down on the table.

“Are you trying to rub it in my face?”

“Am I trying to what?

“Where do you get off taking me to a nice place like this when you know that I…” He trailed off. Thomas’s mouth parted as he realized what Diego was trying to say. When you know that I’m homeless.

“I meant no insult. I simply have a thing for the creamed chicken on toast they serve here. Jeepers, friend, do you really think I would do such a pig-headed thing?”

“Yes,” Diego answered simply. “And why do you keep calling me friend?”

A solitary laugh puffed from Thomas’s lungs.

“You don’t consider me a friend?”

“I consider you a spoiled rich kid who’s never been told no in his life and wouldn’t know how to handle it.” Diego hadn’t meant to be so harsh. He was like a cornered animal, lashing out on instinct.

“Wrong on all accounts,” Thomas replied coolly. “I’m not rich, my parents are. I’m not a kid, I’m twenty-one years of age, and I’ve been told no plenty of times and I handle it by simply choosing to ignore it.”

You can also learn more about this book and the author by following For The Lost Time Blog Book tour. See dates and blogs below.

Posted in book review, book series, books, Indie Author, Self Published

My 5 Top Suggestions For Indie April

It is Indie April where indie and self-published authors are given a little extra support by readers through either buying or promoting their works. So I thought I would go through my book reviews and pull out my top 5 indie/self-published likes for those looking to check out something awesome to read this month!

Misfit Mage By Michael Taggart

Categories: Fantasy, Magic, LGBT

The main character is Jason who has just discovered he is a supernatural through a major life altering event. His world is turned upside down when he realizes he can do magic, and that magic really is a thing. Along the way he makes amazing friends who feel more like family, and meets a man who puts his other lovers to shame.

Jason quickly discovers his limits in magic, but also finds places he excels at. He also realizes how dangerous the magic world is and how much he needs to catch up for he gets himself killed. But he is a problem solver with an abundance of creativity. Some of his solutions are amazing to behold (and super funny too)!

You can read my full review of Misfit Mage here.

The Goddess’s Choice By Jamie Marchant

Categories: Fantasy, Romance

This is a story of magic, legend, love, and lust of power. It follows the main characters of Korthlundia’s Crown Princess Samantha, and Robbie, a peasant farmer’s son with the magical power of healing. The Princess struggles against power hungry nobles who want to marry her and become her consort and the new king. Meanwhile, Robbie deals with persecution from his own people for being considered a demon because of his magic and skin color.

The danger at the palace increases as Samantha’s father, the king , becomes ill. And Robbie learns of a mysterious destiny he must fulfill while also learning more about his vast healing abilities. The two major story arcs are masterfully woven together to create a rich and unforgettable story.

You can read my full review of The Goddess’s Choice here.

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Posted in author, author interview, book series, books

An Author Interview with A.W. Exley

Isn’t it fun to get obsessed about a book, or a book series? It’s a great feeling to get lost into something exciting. And my latest addiction happens to be A.W. Exley’s Artifact Hunters series. If you missed it, please check out my review of the first book Book Review: Nefertiti’s Heart By A.W. Exley, and earlier this week I did a review of the entire series Series Review: The Artifact Hunters. Now it’s time to get a peak at the author herself. Check it out below.

Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview! First, I have some questions about the Artifact Hunters series.

This is a fantastic series that brings together an amazing cast of characters. All of the characters loveable with their own quirks. Did you find one character that you liked the absolute most, and why?

Jackson! He didn’t have much of a role in the first book and he was supposed to be this thug in the background. But as the series progressed, he grew on me. He’s got this really tough exterior, and as the story unfolded, I discovered why he was like that. As Cara says he’s a crème brulee––crack that tough outer shell and he’s all soft and gooey inside LOL

I love the way you brought Cara and Nate together. Their stories so intertwined, especially once Nefertiti’s Heart became involved. What gave you the idea for this complex and fascinating artifact? And does it prolong their life in any way? How long will Cara and Nate be around (if you can say without ruining any potential new books in the series)?

Oh gosh… I wrote the book so long ago, I’m going to have to scrap the memory banks! Lol I remember trying to decide what to write and I pulled out my Egyptology books, a stack of true crime, and decided I was going to mash them together. That got me thinking about Nefertiti and what sort of artifact she would inspire. As to how long Cara and Nate might be around… I’ve tried killing them both off already and it didn’t work, so its safe to say they will be around for a bit longer yet 😉

This series is set on the backdrop of cool steampunk artifacts in the Victorian age. It’s a great world you built with lots of history, but with your own personal spin complete with mechanical hearts and beasts. Where did you get your inspiration to create this impressive world? Did you find it difficult to walk the line between fact and fiction?

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Posted in author, author interview, book addict, book review, Indie Author

An Author Interview With Elina Vale

Last month I did a book review on The Charmed Locket by Elina Vale. It is the first book in The Treasure Hunter’s Heart series. Shortly after I did the review, I managed to get a hold of an ARC copy of the second book Hidden Truths.

Elina continues the story where the first book leaves off, and we follow Gina, Philip, Ramon, and Sera, who are in search the third wolf statue. This statue will lead them to where the coveted book of mechanical charms rests. And the Divided are hot on their trail.

A showdown between the Guild and the Divided leads to tragedy. Later, Gina finds herself back in her hometown burdened by what she knows. War is coming, and she’s not sure what to do about it. Who can she tell? Who should she trust? As she tries to find a way forward in ever darkening circumstances, Gina makes some discoveries that helps her realize she’s not quite alone as she thought she was.

The first two books have been a really fun read. I love how this series has captivated my attention. So I decided to contact the author to see what more I could learn about her books, and the author herself. Here is the interview with Elina Vale. Her responses are in bolded text.

Thank you so much, Elina, for taking the time to do this interview! First, I have some questions about your books.  

You are currently writing a series called The Treasure Hunter’s Heart. It is a series based off the idea of charmed mechanics that have what seems like magical powers. These mechanics were supposedly destroyed and many people in the books think them pure legend, except for a few like the main character Gina Mansfred, who is in a desperate search to find out more about them. I think this is an intriguing plot premises. Can you tell us more about these charmed mechanics, and maybe a little about where your original ideas for the mechanics came from? 

Charmed mechanics are different kinds of items, that seem to be just regular objects like necklaces, statues, pens, boxes and so on, but they all have been enchanted. Charms are first built like any object with mechanics (with locks, hatches, moving parts) are, but after that, magic will bring them alive: A box opens with a secret word, a jewel could turn you invisible by twisting a certain piece on it, a statue might come alive when you blow on it a certain number of times… So the charms are a combination of mechanics and magic. 

I guess the idea of regular items being enchanted kind of intrigued me.  

Gina is in a pretty desperate situation where she finds herself between two warring organizations who are searching for the mechanics, and to bring them back from myths of old to everyday usage. She also happens to be romantically stuck between two men that are heading these opposing expeditions. This in itself is creating a lot of tension, conflict, and darkness for Gina personally. Out of all her struggles, what do you perceive to be her biggest hurtle to overcome?  

She has a lot of growing up to do in these books for sure. Her biggest issues in this series will definitely be her trust issues and her fear of losing people.  These will make her do some hazardous things before she learns to trust in others and let go of this fear. She also struggles morally and wants to do the right thing. The problem is that she is not sure what the right thing to do actually is… 

Gina poses as a thief in book one called Lily, who boldly takes from the rich to give the more unfortunate. Will we see a return of “Lily” in future books? 

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